If you’re worried about keeping up with the Joneses, don’t be. They probably have money anxieties too. Here’s a look at how some of your fellow Americans are juggling their financial responsibilities.
When it comes to rainy-day funds, many Americans simply don’t have enough. Half have less than a three-month cushion, and more than 25% have none at all:
A recent survey from the American Psychological Association found that 54% of people rated paying for unexpected expenses a very or somewhat significant source of stress. If you’re among the ones who are losing sleep over the lack of an emergency fund, here’s how to get started building one.
While 401(k) participation hit a record high last year, rates of saving still lag, particularly among younger workers. One survey found that more than four in 10 millennials are worried about running out of money in retirement. Even if you can’t hit the recommended goal of saving 15% of salary right away, a key first step is to save enough in your 401(k) to get your full employer match, often around 6%.
With regular contribution increases—say 2% every year on your birthday—you can get to that 15% target more quickly than you might think. But don’t just take our word for it. Check out the inspiring examples of these 401(k) millionaires in the making.
If you’ve ever used an online retirement calculator to determine how much savings you’ll need, you’re already ahead of most Americans. And that’s important: People who have a retirement savings goal are vastly more likely to retire comfortably than those who don’t.
Most of us follow the standard advice to hold less in stocks as we get closer to retirement. That’s especially true as the bull market enters its sixth year and stock prices approach record highs. Unless you rebalance your portfolio regularly, you could find that your stock allocations no longer match your investing strategy—or your risk tolerance.
One way to deal with asset allocation is by investing in a target-date fund, which automatically changes the mix of stocks and bonds as you get closer to retirement age.
Adapted from “Never Worry About Money Again.” by Carla Fried, Ian Salisbury, and Taylor Tepper, which ran in the July 2015 issue of Money magazine.